This year, marked perhaps most publicly on that galavanza of media marketing Super Bowl Sunday, ad agencies show signs of waking up to the power of Search as a branding tool. They're starting to integrate it with other more traditional media buys. And a few hiccups notwithstanding, they're seeing some pretty impressive results. This heralds some potentially big changes, and big opportunities for those SEMs who are ready to capitalize on this shift.

As deep pockets open their eyes-and coffers-to search's potential for branding, they could change the playing field of paid search marketing as we know it today. One panelist described one big brand client's relationship to capturing the #1 position on the SERP. They were prepared to bid whatever it took, no caps, no limits, and no need to justify the bid costs in relationship to clicks or orders to hold that top spot for the days surrounding their big media drop. Because their intent was brand awareness not sales or clicks.

New demographics are entering different vertical spaces, online. They're up-and-coming consumers, many in the 18-30 age bracket, who may not have been brought up with the tried and true brands of yesteryear's advertising media. Ad agencies need to learn how to find these searchers, know what they're looking for, and test the best messages that will leave a lasting brand impression with them.

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